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Jasprit Bumrah always thinks of cricket, Gujarat coach

Jasprit Bumrah, with 44 wickets from 24 games at an economy rate of under five, has enhanced India's stature in the limited-overs format.

Jasprit Bumrah India
Indian cricketer. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

India’s Jasprit Bumrah, with 44 wickets from 24 games at an economy rate of under five, has enhanced India’s stature in the limited-overs format, immensely. He owes most of his success to the fact that “he always thinks of cricket,” says Gujarat head-coach Vijay Patel, under whose guidance, Gujarat won the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 title in 2012-13 and 2014-15, Vijay Hazare Trophy in 2016 and the coveted Ranji Trophy last season. He has overseen Bumrah’s growth since the under-19 days.

Steve Smith was among those who praised Bumrah’s skills during death and mentioned that Australia as a team are coming closer to winning games but end up losing them, but that has been a pattern for most teams playing against India in limited-overs cricket. Bumrah plays the major role here and Patel believes the IPL experience has a played a big role in helping the 23-year-old.

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“It is very important — it’s not like you just show up and pick wickets. You’ve to be mentally tuned to the task. Knowing when to up the ante and where to slow down the game is equally important.  He was up for it right from the start,” Patel told Sportstar.

“Working with international bowlers at Mumbai Indians (MI) has helped him a lot. He has been with us (Gujarat) since his under-19 days and we knew then, he had what it takes to play for India,” he said.

“You could tell from the way he was bowling that he was preparing for elite matches. Bumrah gradually played under-23 but we didn’t want to hurry him into playing Ranji and Duleep trophy matches. Once we thought he was ready, he made his first-class debut in 2013. The same year, he was picked up by MI,” he added.

From being picked up by John Wright for the Mumbai Indians to learning how to bowl during death with influence from Lasith Malinga and alongside Bhuvneshwar Kumar and over Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav.

Patel recollects: “I still remember — we were training in Ahmedabad and John Wright was in town for some talent hunt. He immediately picked Bumrah and Axar Patel. As I said, he (Bumrah) has always been a good learner. Also, his deceptive action has helped him a lot.”

His unique bowling action decoded

Bumrah’s impact outside home, though still in Asia remains impressive as he picked up 15 wickets in the 5-match ODI series against Sri Lanka, including a five-fer. He becomes slightly difficult for batsmen to pick because of his unique, unorthodox bowling action. However, he is still able to stretch his arm — fully and straight while delivering the ball as the Gujarat coach decodes the mechanism behind it.

“That’s his natural action. You can make some adjustments but you can’t change it. Previously, the trend was to be biomechanically correct in bowling — open, closed, mixed actions — if you have one particular action, you’ll have this or that injury.

“As for Bumrah, a lot of people had said he’ll get injuries because of his bowling action but we never tried to change his style; even at the NCA no one interfered with his action because once you change it, that ‘lethal’ factor will go missing,” added Patel.

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